By: Linda Kloorfain, Marketing Coordinator St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity
Members of the community showed up in force to welcome and congratulate Tameshia Martin and her son Antwan on purchasing their Habitat home on Wednesday, August 3 in Fort Pierce. Cars lined the streets as family, friends, community, staff, and volunteers gathered on Notlem Drive for St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity’s first Community Land Trust Home Dedication ceremony.
St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity recently transitioned to a Community Land Trust (CLT) model of homeownership to develop a permanent source of affordable housing in St. Lucie County.
The way a CLT works is, in exchange for a reduced purchase price and affordable homeownership opportunity, when a CLT homeowner decides to sell a CLT home (which does not include the land), he or she agrees to sell the home to another low to moderate income household at a price that is predetermined by the resale formula contained in the ground lease. The formula is designed to balance equity gain for the owner at the same time that it sets a resale price that is affordable for future buyers. This way, our community’s investment in affordable housing stays affordable in perpetuity.
Tameshia is the first homebuyer to purchase a home from St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity using this new model of homeownership. While working full-time in funeral services and raising her son, Tameshia completed 300 “sweat equity” hours and attended St. Lucie Habitat’s financial literacy and homeowner classes, and Antwan helped his mother earn sweat equity hours by volunteering at a local nonprofit organization. With an abundance of pride, Tameshia remarked, “My biggest dream has come true – I am a homeowner! I worked so hard for this – now I know I can do anything I set my mind to.”
“We’re grateful for our partnership with the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners and Garber Buick GMC who donated the funds we needed to build the Martin’s home,” said Melissa Winstead, Development Director at St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity. “We have thirteen other CLT homes under various stages of construction throughout the county. Anyone who wants to help create permanently affordable housing can give me a call at 772-464-1117, ext. 103 or email me at Melissa@StLucieHabitat.org,” said Winstead.
About St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity began in 1996 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International; a Christian housing organization and leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries.
Families and individuals who are ready for homeownership, yet are priced out of the high-cost housing market, partner with St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity to build a place they can call home.
St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity uses a Community Land Trust model of homeownership. By maintaining ownership of the land through a ground lease, capping home resale equity, and requiring any future sales are made to a low-income, qualified buyer, St. Lucie Habitat ensures that the affordable homes they build, remain affordable in perpetuity.
To date, St. Lucie Habitat has built or rehabbed 85 homes and repaired 148 homes in St. Lucie County.